Christopher M. Buell


Overview and Experience

Chris is a partner with Bonya Gazza & DeGory, LLP, and focuses his practice on oil and gas, coal, litigation, real estate and other commercial matters. Chris represents oil and gas operators and mining companies in land issues, litigation, regulatory appeals, and general commercial matters. He also regularly represents businesses and individuals in civil litigation, real estate transactions, and in corporate formations and counseling. Chris has been named a Rising Star by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers® from 2012 through 2019.

Areas of Practice

In his oil and gas and coal work, Chris regularly represents companies in land issues, litigation, regulatory appeals, and general business matters.

Chris’ experience includes:

  • Reviewing and certifying titles to oil and gas and coal for leasing and development throughout Pennsylvania.
  • Litigating a variety of cases, including quiet title matters, lease validity and termination claims, payment disputes, property damage claims, and tax assessment and tax sale challenges.
  • Advising clients on environmental matters, including appeals before the Environmental Hearing Board
  • Representing clients in water loss and degradation claims in court and before the Environmental Hearing Board
  • Advising clients on negotiating contracts, abandoned and unclaimed property matters, municipal ordinances and land use, and other matters.


Chris has significant experience representing businesses and individuals in civil litigation in Indiana County and surrounding areas. Chris’ litigation experience includes:

  • Commercial matters, such as breach-of-contract claims, Uniform Commercial Code claims, and business torts.
  • Construction matters, including payment disputes, mechanics’ lien claims, and construction defect claims.
  • Real estate matters, including ownership, boundary line and title disputes.
  • Defending against personal injury claims.
  • Representing owners in tax assessment and tax sale matters.

Chris also regularly represents businesses and individuals with respect to matters such as:

  • Real estate sales, purchases, leasing, and development.
  • Corporate, LLC, and business entity formations and counseling.
  • Contract review and preparation.

Admissions and Affiliations

Chris is admitted to practice in the following states and courts:

  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Chris is a member of the Indiana County Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

Education and Past Experience

Chris earned his J.D. in 2006 from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude with a certificate in advanced study of environmental law, science, and policy. While in law school, Chris served as a senior managing editor of the Law Review, and a senior editor for JURIST, a legal news and research service.

Chris earned a B.A. in journalism from Pennsylvania State University in 2003.

Before joining BGD, Chris practiced for more than six years as an associate with Babst, Calland, Clements & Zomnir, P.C., in Pittsburgh.

Community Involvement

Chris is active in his community through the following:

  • Member and past President of the Rotary Club of Indiana-Midday
  • Member, Board of Directors, Saltsburg Schools Foundation
  • 2015 graduate of Leadership Indiana County

Chris previously served as a board member for JURIST Legal News and Research, Inc.


Chris is a native of Saltsburg, Pennsylvania, and he graduated from the Kiski School in 2000. He lives in Saltsburg with his wife and two kids. In his free time, Chris enjoys fishing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and music.

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